JEROME • Idaho Department of Fish and Game is proposing 2013-14 waterfowl seasons of 105 days and a two-day youth hunt, along with some changes in goose seasons and limits. You can comment, by Aug. 16, in open houses or online.
Idaho sets waterfowl seasons by zones. The state has three duck and dark goose zones and four light goose zones. The proposal would separate Canada geese and white-fronted geese seasons, a Fish and Game press release said.
Idaho’s waterfowl seasons must fit within guidelines set annually by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for all states in the Pacific Flyway. As it has since 1997, Fish and Wildlife has allowed a 107-day season.
This year, for ducks and Canada geese, those 107 days may occur only between Sept. 21 and Jan. 26. For white-fronted geese and light geese — snow and Ross’s geese — those 107 days may occur only between Sept. 21 and March 10.
Idaho’s proposed waterfowl season would open with a two-day hunt Sept. 28-29 for licensed youths ages 10-15.
Duck and Canada goose seasons in the area around American Falls Reservoir would run from Oct. 5 to Jan. 17, with scaup seasons from Oct. 25 to Jan. 17. In the rest of the state it would run from Oct. 12 to Jan. 24, with scaup seasons from Nov. 2 to Jan. 24.
The daily bag limit would be seven ducks — but no more than two female mallards, two redheads, three scaup, two pintails and two canvasbacks — and four Canada geese.
In 2013, the framework for white-fronted geese was separated from Canada geese. For the first time, Idaho can now select a 107-day white-fronted goose season between Sept. 21 and March 10. Fish and Game said it is considering two options to accommodate white-fronted goose hunting opportunities for the 2013-14 season in the southwest part of the state.
One option would separate the white-fronted and light goose seasons, with white-fronted geese open from Nov. 2 to Feb. 14, and light geese from Nov. 5 to Jan. 24 and Feb. 15 to March 10. Under a second option, both white-fronted geese and light geese would be open from Nov. 26 through March 10.
However, if the white-fronted goose and light-goose seasons would occur at the same time, the use of electronic calls and unplugged shotguns would not be allowed, Fish and Game’s release said.
Elsewhere in the state, the white-fronted goose season around American Falls Reservoir would run from Oct. 5 through Jan. 17, and in the rest of the state it would run from Oct. 12 through Jan. 24. The daily bag limit would be six white-fronted geese.
For light geese — snow and Ross’s geese — there are four zones. The season for:
• Zone 1 would run Oct. 5-Jan. 17.
• Zone 2 would run Oct. 29-Jan. 17 and Feb. 15-March 10.
• Zone 3 would run Nov. 5-Jan. 24 and Feb. 15-March 10; or Nov. 26-March 10.
• Zone 4 would run Oct. 12-Jan. 24.
The daily bag limit would be 20 light geese, increased from 10 last year.
For light geese, zones 1 and 2 are in the area around American Falls Reservoir, including the Fort Hall Indian Reservation, Bannock County and parts of Bingham, Caribou and Power counties; zone 3 is the southwest and part of the Magic Valley; and zone 4 is the rest of the state.
Open house meetings are planned across the state to take public comments on the proposed seasons. Or, submit comments online at: https://fishandgame.idaho.gov/content/webform/2013-waterfowl-season-proposals. Or, mail written comments to: 2013-14 Waterfowl Seasons, P.O. Box 25, Boise, ID 83707.
The deadline for public comment is Aug. 16. A summary of public comments will be presented to the Idaho Fish and Game Commission at the meeting Aug. 19 in Idaho Falls.